George Hewitt (1889–1953)

George lived his life in a small area of the Midlands, that was called the Black Country, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He lived at a time of rapid growth of the iron and steel industries and lived through the turbulent times of the two World Wars and the Great Depression.

His great, great grandfather, Robert (1766 - 1863), and his great grandfather Thomas (1793 - 1881) worked in wood, carpenters and cabinet makers, but with the industrial revolution occupations changed. Both his father Thomas Job Hewitt (1864 - 1922) and his maternal grandfather Thomas Wakelem (1845 - 1894) were sheet rollers, his paternal grandfather, Thomas Hewitt (1835 - 1912) had been a 'dresser of iron fastings', so he was born into a family that was steeped in the tradition of being iron and steel workers. He continued into that occupation, as did his four brothers - all rising to management positions and making a good living for their families.

This You Tube video gives a flavour of the area George grew up in as it was last century.

July - September 1889 Birth The family were living at 31, Holywell Street, Ettingshall, Sedgley when George was born (see map below).

The houses of that time have all been demolished now, but the photos below show what the area looked like in the 1950s when the original terraces were still there, and give a flavour of the area at the time when George was a child. The houses were typical two up, two down terraced houses. Each house would have had an attic and cellar, an outside 'privvy' and back garden.

1891 Census

At the age of 1 year George was living with his family at 31 Hollywell Road, Sedgley, Staffordshire, England

Father: Thomas Job Hewitt, age 27 - a sheet iron roller.

Mother: Sarah Hewitt, age 23

Brothers: Thomas (age 5) and Arthur (age 3)

1893 Birth of Brother Albert Hewitt (1893–1940)
1896 Birth of Brother Walter Hewitt (1896–1986)
1901 Census

The family had moved to the Parkfield Road. It was still classed as Sedgley - but the other side of the Road was Wolverhampton! The boundary ran down the middle of it.

The house was number 590, a three bedroomed terrace house - and Parkfield Road was considered a very good neighbourhood at that time. The photo does not do the house justice, the area is very run down now compared to what it was in 1900.

With such a large family and three wage earners in the family it was necessary, and also possible, to 'move up in the world'. They would have been very proud of their new house.

George was age 11. He was living with his father, Thomas Job, who was now aged 37 and still working as a 'cold roller' in the steel mill and his mother, Sarah, who was aged 34 and keeping house. His brothers also lived at home. There were now five brothers - no sisters! Sons meant good income for the family. In those days girls were paid a lot less than boys, even when doing the same job... but you still had to feed and clothe them!

His eldest brother was self employed as a hairdresser working from the family home. It was common for home industries to be run from the front room - perhaps this was the case with Thomas. Thomas was 15 years old.

Arthur was now 13 and in full time work as a machinist/driller at the steel works.

Albert was aged 8 years and Walter was 5 years old.

1911 Census

By the time George was 21 the family had moved nearer to the Fighting Cocks. They remained on the Parkfield Road, but towards the more salubrious end of the road - away from Bilston and towards Wolverhampton.

The new house, number 680, was an end terrace with a large bay window. It would have probably had a coloured lead window in the front door. The windows would be sash windows and the front step would have been srubbed daily. This was a house to be proud of - the home of the family of a successful man!

The house had a very large garden - about twice the size of the previous one - excellent for growing your own food and holding family parties..

There would have been a vegetable plot and fruit trees would have been planted. They would have probably keept hens and geese - even a pig!

Thomas Job, 47, was now a 'sheet turner' at the Steel Mill and his wife Sarah Ann, 43, kept house.

Arthur, now 23, was a 'sheet mill shearer', and George, 21, Arthur, 18, and Walter 15 were all Cold Roll Assistants.

The household had a really good income!

Brother Thomas now had his own family. He was now working at the steel mill as a sheet mill roller. He had his own home. He was living at 52 Wolverhampton Road (also called Sedgley Road!) - a continuation of the Dudley Road from Wolverhampton.

Thomas Hewitt was 25, his wife Bridget Agnes Hewitt was also 25. They had two daughters Winnifrede Hewitt, aged 3, Eileen Hewitt age 7 months and Florrie Bennett aged 13 was living with them, working as a domestic servant.

July 1913

Marriage To Elizabeth Maud Howell
18th January 1914 Birth of Son

Thomas Hewitt (1914–1977)

27th May 1915 Birth of twin daughters Olive Maude Hewitt (1915–1955) and Dorothy (Dolly) May Hewitt (1915–2000)
24 September 1920 Birth of Daughter Vera Elizabeth Hewitt (1920–2004)
September 1922 Death of Father Thomas Job Hewitt (1864–1922)
1931 Adoption of a daughter Margaret Rose Hewitt (1930–2018)
1938 Marriage of a daughter Dorothy May (Dolly) Hewitt (2015 - 2000) married Jack Phillips (1920 - 1999)
1939 Marriage of a daughter Olive Maude Hewitt (1915 - 1955) married Samuel Albert Jarvis (1913 - 1991)
1939 Marriage of only son Thomas Hewitt (1914 - 1977) married Dorothy Winifred Kitson (1914 - 1956)
December 1940 Death of Brother Albert Hewitt (1893–1940)
1941 Birth of a grandson George Anthony Jarvis (known as Tony) was born to daughter Olive.
1942 Birth of a grandson Thomas Stanley Phillips was born - a son for daughter Dolly
1944 Marriage of daughter Vera Hewitt (1920 - 2004) married Thomas Tuckley (1920 -2000)
1944 Birth of a granddaughter Geraldine K. Hewitt was born - a daughter for son Thomas
1945 Birth of a granddaughter Helen Elizabeth Phillips was born - a daughter for daughter Dolly
1948 Birth of a granddaughter Sylvia Olive Jarvis was born - a daughter for daughter Olive
1948 Brith of a grandson David Victor Tuckley was born - a son for daughter Vera
13th February 1952 Brother and sister-in-law emigrate

Thomas and Bridget emigrated to Sydney Australia - both at the age of 60. They travelled on the Mooltan P&O Ship. By that time Thomas was a Mill Superintendant. That is a very high paid job and he would have been very much in demand in Australia at the time.

He had been living in Villiers Street, Bilston before he emigrated - a large semi-detached.

23rd February 1952 Marriage of adopted daughter Margaret Rose Hewitt (1930 - 2018) married Alojzy Jan Kus (1925 - 1976)
8th April 1953 Death George died of pneumonia, aged 63.
13 May 1953 Probate
Name George Hewitt
Death Date 3 Apr 1953
Death Place Wolverhampton
Probate Date 13 May 1953
Registry Birmingham, England

His executor was his son Thomas.



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